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messy divorce

Roy Keane: 'It was never going to be like Little House on the Prairie'

The former Manchester United captain expected his eventual exit from the club to be messy.

ROY KEANE HAS said his former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson should’ve shown him loyalty instead of preaching it.

In a wide-ranging Q+A at the Lancashire County Cricket Club in Manchester to promote his new autobiography ‘The Second Half’, Keane spoke candidly about his departure from Old Trafford and remains bitterly disappointed with how the club brought his twelve and a half year tenure to an abrupt end.

On Tuesday night, he accused Ferguson of hypocrisy and again repeated a previous claim that those on the inside wanted him to leave United, alleging that his ex-boss used the media to leak stories of Keane’s behaviour.

“The issues I had were really after I left. Fergie would’ve had pals in the media, painting a picture of me which I think is unfair. A lot of stuff came out that I felt were lies. I felt I was coming to an end anyway but the stuff afterwards irritated me. I thought it was an inside job: ‘Get the message out that he’s a loose cannon’.”

Ferguson made a point of talking about loyalty. He could’ve shown me some. He was coming out with all this stuff about ‘honouring the contract’. They didn’t. Legally, I had every right to stay. People talk about his man-management – I think it was actually one of his weaknesses. Ruud (van Nistelrooy), Becks (David Beckham), Brucey (Steve Bruce), Robbo (Bryan Robson) – privately they’d tell you things, different to what would be in the media. But, it was never going to be Little House on the Prairie, skipping through the fields together.”

Keane spent the majority of the event last night discussing events at Manchester United. Although he attempted to regularly play down the overall significance of his exit from the Premier League club (“don’t be going home tonight, crying yourselves to sleep over it”, he instructed the audience at one stage), it was clear that the manner of him leaving has had long-lasting effects.

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Group A - Manchester United v Real Sociedad - Old Trafford Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport Keane criticised the role Manchester United's former CEO David Gill played in his acrimonious departure from the club. Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport / EMPICS Sport

In his own inimitible, acerbic way, he lashed out at other key characters in the story – namely Carlos Queiroz and David Gill.

I had a few disagreements with Queiroz. I think for some reason, after he came back after he f**ked off to Real Madrid for two months, that he saw me as some sort of threat. But I was a senior player. Responsibility came my way. I never applied for it. I don’t think for one minute that I crossed the line.”

But when I left, Ferguson was coming out with all this stuff about honouring the contract. But they didn’t. They broke the contract. Legally, I had every right to stay. David Gill has a lot to answer for. He had the cheek to say to me (at the final meeting), ‘And Roy, you’re injured.’ I said ‘Yeah, I got injured in a game. I broke my foot against Liverpool.’ It was like ‘Let’s get him out quickly’.”

“Do things properly, treat people properly. They should’ve done better by me. I think they done me bad. And that’s not me being a madman saying ‘I’ve got to get Fergie back. Though I do know where he lives! He should’ve shown me more loyalty instead of preaching it.”

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